The British Journal of Politics & International Relations

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 4

Editors in Chief: John Peterson and Alan Convery

Impact Factor: 1.566

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 16/85 (International Relations); 32/161 (Political Science)

Online ISSN: 1467-856X

Associated Title(s): Political Insight, Political Studies, Political Studies Review, Politics

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BJPIRbest paper award
2014 winner
Speaking to the Markets or to the People? A Discursive Institutionalist Analysis of the EU's Sovereign Debt Crisis

Vivien A.Schmidt

The article’s strength was that it developed and refined, an established world class renowned scholar's existing theoretical and conceptual framework for understanding the role of ideas and discourse in framing policy development and making legitimacy claims. It applied this refined framework to a salient and contemporary question of pressing political, economic and social importance (the Euro zone crisis) in an instructive fashion. The article provides a diagnosis of the political difficulties encountered by leaders in trying to manage the euro zone crisis, - the difficulty of co-ordinating and communicating commensurate messages for their populations, the markets, the media and for one another, with the result that there is no legitimate EU wide co-ordinative discourse. Poor political management and ineffectiveness is explained in terms of competing ideas and pressures. The article has a commendable comparative element and is particularly effective at illuminating the inconsistencies and inadequacies of current German policy positions on handling the Euro zone crisis.

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BJPIR Panel discussion at PSA 64th Annual Conference, 2014